The group is open to all; this church, any church, no church.
Our next walk will be on Friday, 6th of July, meeting at 10:00 hrs at the Market Cross, Castle Combe for a walk of about 9 miles. Free parking on-street or in the top car park. Suggest bringing snack/picnic.
(Click or double click on the pictures to enlarge)
Although we did not have a walk of our own in June, several of our walkers were involved with another very successful Corsham Walking Festival. Nor had we been idle in May, some of us enjoying a week of glorious walking in good company on the tenth annual Corsham Wanderers expedition to the Lake District. Thanks to Nigel Jackson for some Lake District photos.
A cloudy, breezy day gave ideal walking conditions for 10 walkers on our 7 mile May walk. Starting at Gastard we made our way to The Ridge, then to Whitley where we stopped at The Toast Office for a sociable coffee and cake. On then to Catridge via Watery Lane which this winter has been variously Icy Lane or Flooded Lane but was now a mere trickle of its former self. Lunch was taken with good views of the Wiltshire countryside before returning to Gastard via Sandpits and Thingley Bridge for refreshment at The Harp and Crown.
Ten walkers set out from Lower Westwood on our 9 mile April amble, the difficult conditions under foot a reminder of how wet the winter and spring had been so far. The Kennet and Avon canal was followed to Bradford on Avon where the impressive 14th century monastic Tithe Barn was visited, then resuming along the canal to the almost equally impressive 1805 Avoncliffe Aqueduct. Lunch was taken at Freshford before passing Iford Manor to return to Lower Westwood and refreshment at The New Inn.
Spring seemed to have sprung as 9 walkers left Biddestone on our 8 mile March walk to Castle Combe via Giddea Hall, Long Dean and West Yatton. Lunch was taken on the Market Cross at Castle Combe, always a good spot to pause and watch the world go by. On our return route through Ford, Toplands and Ham Lane we were reminded by the remaining snow drifts that it was less than a week since the heavy snowfall.
Leaving Bathford in a February shower of snow and sleet 17 walkers made their way across Bathampton Meadows to the Kennet and Avon canal. We then climbed steeply and emerged into a keen wind on Bathampton Down, skirting the university campus and crossing Claverton Down. From Brassnocker we dropped to the Dundas Aqueduct for lunch alongside the canal, which we then followed under blue skies for most of our return journey to Bathford and refreshment at The Crown.
It could be said that, in many respects, last year was not a walk in the park, neither was our first meeting of the new year for the 23 walkers setting out from the Hare and Hounds on New Year’s Day, bound for Slaughterford and Colerne. A period of heavy rain, an 11 mile route with 1249 feet of ascent, mud and floods kept us all entertained. Nevertheless we were still in good spirits back at the H&H for the post walk inquest and some refreshment.
On 12th January we were off again, starting from Marshfield and heading north on a ten mile route through the villages of West Littleton and West Kington. This time a group of 10 walkers found the weather and the terrain to be a little kinder but at the finish were pleased to be by the fireside at the Catherine Wheel public house.
Fifteen walkers set out from The Bell Inn on Bowden Hill on our five mile December walk. We followed the River Avon to Reybridge before crossing the Wilts and Berks canal at Double Bridge and climbing to Naish Hill, then on to Bowden Hill and Bewley Green. We then enjoyed a very sociable Christmas lunch at The Bell.
Our 10 mile November walk took us to Box and back, twenty one walkers setting out on a glorious autumnal day, almost clear blue skies and crisp leaves underfoot. Our outbound route via Middlewick and the Macmillan Way was easy going, in contrast to our climb back to Corsham through Henley, Thorn Wood and Lower Rudloe. There was an option to do 5 miles by returning to our start at the Hare and Hounds by ‘bus. One lady member of the congregation, who had thought that 5 miles would be enough, resolutely completed the whole 10 miles. A sterling effort!
Our October walk was led by Charles Todd along an interesting route from Neston to Atworth, Broughton Gifford and Great Chalfield. Lunch was taken in front of the 15th century Manor but no sign of Cap’n Poldark visiting the Penvenen family of Killewarren House, Cornwall today! On an increasingly warm and pleasant day we resumed our journey through Little Chalfield, Stonar and Lower Wadswick. Returning to St Philip’s and St James’ we enjoyed tea, coffee and home made cake kindly provided by Pat Craddock, a fitting finale to a lovely day for 18 happy walkers
The 14 walkers who set out from Castle Combe on our 9 mile September walk were accompanied by a fairly persistent downpour along the Fosseway and across to Littleton Drew. The wet M4 looked an uninviting place to be as we walked westwards parallel to its eastbound carriageway for a while. St Mary the Virgin church at Burton provided sanctuary and the rare luxury of chairs and tables for lunch, our thanks to church warden Marje Caie. Back in Castle Combe, under sunshine and blue skies, we took some refreshment in the garden of the White Hart. Another epic nine miles completed today, complete with library, church luncheon in style, cows and maize.
Our 9 mile August walk was a game of two halves for the twenty walkers who set out from Corsham. The first half towards Neston, Gastard, Catridge and Piccadilly was a tale of paths obstructed by crops, including a 7′ high field of maize and of overgrown stiles, despite some energetic pre-walk path clearance. Several encounters with lively inquisitive horses provided a distraction from these mundane challenges. Some of us missed The Red Arrows when they turned up a bit later than arranged. By comparison the second half through New Farm, Ladbrookside and Corsham Park was an absolute breeze, easier still was getting a welcome drink at The Flemish Weaver afterwards.
A beautiful summer day with temperatures in the twenties accompanied twenty walkers on a hilly 8 miles from Biddestone to Slaughterford and to Down Wood where a shady spot was found for lunch. We continued to Fox Corner, The Groves and Monks Wood and were pleased to find that The White Horse was still open upon our return.